The other day, I managed to scroll through content writing profiles on a social networking site. I realized, they had a good number of switches over a span just few years. It matched my own scenario. I thought of penning down certain points that let content writers switch jobs in short periods. Before I express my opinions, I accept that I do make mistakes and have never been ‘picture perfect’ in my work. I apologize in advance if this piece of content sounds offensive or wrong in anyway.
Following are some of the key issues that hamper one’s work process and make them look out.
Lack of content work and strategy – Lot of organizations hire the writer because they have content task ‘in-the-moment’. May be six months down the line, the writer is not needed. What happens then? Definitely, a switch! It is important that there should be a proper strategy according to which a content writer will lead. The criteria should encompass the exact duties and responsibilities that are required to be met with. Content has a small shelf life and one needs to keep writing more and new. Employers should have long term content development goals from the candidate.
Contractual based work – In my point of view, content writer should be hired as consultants who should work on a contractual basis. For instance, hire a writer for a fixed period like six months or eight. The strategy should encompass the kind of work you need to get done from the writer. Once determined, the details with timelines should be explained to the writer at the time of selection. Along with this, the cost should be negotiated too. This will help both the employer and the employee at a beneficial side. Also a content writer should be approached for content and not technical writing which happens to be a different division all together (until the writer actually holds potential in the same).blem
Multifarious domains versus writers – Across the industry, there is a huge confusion with the art called writing. Anybody who says he can write doesn’t mean he can write on everything on Earth. Every writer has his own kind of potential. For instance, I can write short stories but I am an epic fail in instructional design. Many a times, a writer is hired for a profile that he has no clue of (courtesy – HR trying to close the vacancy). What happens next is, a tough struggle for the writer to survive in the job. Though, there are many potential people who overcome this struggle with flying colors.
Well defined profile – A job of research analysis report writing differs from doing marketing collateral. I appreciate a lot of employers who take an extra effort to understand the candidate’s area of interest and match it with theirs. It is important for every employer to check with the current writing scenario of the candidate and then proceed in the interview.
Selection criteria – Stop hiring a writer on grounds of English literature degree. There is a peculiar thought process associated with content writing profile hiring where the criteria says the candidate should have masters in English from Delhi University or a mass comm degree and also have 80% marks. Someone who is a writer is a writer naturally because it is a god gifted art. Weaving words is not that easy. Current crop of corporate do not simply look for writers, they look for professionals who can not only write within a tight deadline but also who shall follow impeccable corporate ethics and communicate flawlessly. An English literature degree doesn’t justify that.
Finicky seniors and lack of proper infrastructure – It is a not a new thing and neither a problem alone with content writing. Many are facing the same. But when it comes to writing, many a times, seniors have a peculiar tendency to find unnecessary issues in one’s content and give unreasonable deadlines. Finding grammatical and sentence construction errors is understood but that doesn’t mean changing the entire content written itself. Also, it is important not to judge a writer because he or she is a writer. Mistakes can happen on human grounds. Coming to infrastructure part, often many writers are seated in a very chaotic environment and not given enough peace and serenity to construct sentences.
Amicable environment – Seniors should appreciate the content written by the employee and they should try to understand in what blend of mind did they write it. Often aspects like experience and exposure play a pivotal role in writing. Not everybody has traveled the world or met too many people. Seniors should definitely find faults in content but not at the cost of a fellow writer’s time and energy. Mistakes should be checked on grounds of sentence construction, grammar, usage of words and overall content. Writers should be given ample space to sit, think, research and write.
Designation challenges – The word ‘content’ is different from ‘content’ both in terms ofpronunciation and meaning. People in various positions in corporate should learn to differentiate between the two. In all hiring processes, I realize everybody is termed as a content writer. So, someone with six years of experience is often called a content writer or a senior content writer. There should be some change in the designation. Though this may not be a reason of switching jobs but definitely irks many to the nerve.
Proper designation allotment – If a content writer works for marketing activities, the designation on a mandatory basis should be ‘Content Writer – Marketing and Communications’ or ‘Content Writer – SEO’ and just not content writer. This helps in keeping one’s profile more targeted and clear. A lot of senior writers just not write content but also help in strategizing the content development plan and lead content based marketing activities. They deserve to savor creative and meaty designations other than plain Jane ‘content writer’.
Picture courtesy – Google